INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – Incumbents Karen Disney-Brombach and Carol Johnson handily won their seats on the School Board dais Tuesday night.
Candidate Jeff Pegler will face off against Kimberly Keithahn and write-in candidate Althea McKenzie in November for the District 5 seat. Disney-Brombach will represent District 1 on the School Board and Johnson will serve District 3. The winner of the Pegler-Keithahn-McKenzie runoff will represent District 5 on the School Board.
Both Disney-Brombach and Johnson said the board has some big issues to tackle, most notably finding a new Superintendent to replace Dr. Harry La Cava who is expected to retire next July.
“I am very pleased to have won,” said Disney-Brombach. “Now that I have had some experience I want to become one of the leaders on the Board.”
Disney-Brombach received 12,166 votes, while challenger Guy Barber finished with 8,436 votes.
District 3 winner Johnson beat challenger Richard Marini Sr. with 11,995 votes. Marini Sr. tallied 8,976 in the election that was open to all Indian River County voters.
“I am very proud,” Johnson said. “Finding a new superintendent and working on the budget will be my top priorities. Those are the same things we had to work on when I was first elected.”
Pegler finished with 9,768 votes or 47.59 percent of the ballots cast. He needed over 50 percent of the votes to have won the seat outright. Keithahn gathered 5,972 votes for 29.10 percent of the ballots cast to win the right to run in the Nov. 2 general election.
Harry Hall came in third in the District 5 race with 2,937 votes and Ardra Rigby finished with 1,847 votes.
“I think my message of being pro-active and working to solve issues before they become a problem for the school district resonated with the voters,” Pegler said.
Keithahn said she would be working to get her message out to voters between now and November.
“I love meeting with people and talking with them about the issues,” she said. “I am going to get more mailers out and spread the word to introduce myself to more voters.”
Current District 5 representative Debbie MacKay declined to run for re-election.
Disney-Brombach and Johnson join School Board members Matt McCain and Claudia Jimenez who were not up for election.